This open access volume examines experiences of contemporary Latvian migrants, thereby focusing on reasons for emigration, processes of integration in their host countries, and - in the case of return migration - re-integration in their home country. In the context of European migration, the book describes the case of Latvia, which is interesting due to the multiple waves of excessive emigration, continuously high migration potential among European Union member states, and diverse migrant characteristics. It provides a fascinating insight into the social and psychological aspects linked to migration in a comparative context. The data in this volume is rich in providing individual level perspectives of contemporary Latvian migrants by addressing issues such as emigrants' economic, social and cultural inclusion in the host country, ties with the home country and culture, interaction with public authorities both in the host and home country, political views, and perspectives on the permanent settlement in migration or return. Through topics such as assimilation of children, relationships between emigrants representing different emigration waves, the complex identities and attachments of minority emigrants, and the role of culture and media in identity formation and presentation, this book addresses topics that any contemporary emigrant community is faced with.
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Rita Kasa holds a PhD in Comparative Education from the State University of New York in Buffalo, USA. Her research interests concern educational policy, finance and governance with specific focus on equity and equality in educational access, especially on the level of higher education. Currently she is an Assistant Professor at Graduate School of Education, Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.
Inta Mierina is based at Yale University MacMillan Center for International and Area studies, as Juris Padegs Research Fellow, and she is also a Senior Researcher at the University of Latvia, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology. Previously, Dr. Mierina was the scientific director of the ESF research grant "The emigrant communities of Latvia: National identity, transnational relations, and diaspora politics", receiving for its successful leadership the 2014 University of Latvia Annual prize in science. In 2015 she studied the processes of migration as a Fulbright Research Fellow at the University of Washington. Currently her main research interests concern migration, integration, nationalism and far-right attitudes, inequality, social and political participation.
Introduction: Rita Kasa and Inta Mierina.- Part I Contemporary Latvian Migration: An Integrated Approach to Surveying Emigrants Worldwide: Inta Mierina.- Emigration from Latvia: A Brief History and Driving Forces in the 21st Century: Mihails Hazans.- The Complex Identities of Latvians Abroad: What Shapes a Migrant's Sense of Belonging?: Ilze Koroleva.- Latvian Migrants in Foreign Labour Markets: Job Placement and Discrimination: Aivars Tabuns.- PART II Case Studies on Transnational and National Belonging of Migrants: Latvian Migrants in Great Britain: 'The Great Departure', Transnational Identity and Long Distance Belonging: Martins Kaprans.- Growing Up to Belong Transnationally: Parent Perceptions on Identity Formation among Latvian Emigrant Children in England: Daiga Kamerade and Ieva Skubina.- Manoeuvring in between: Mapping out the Transnational Identity of Russian-speaking Latvians in Sweden and Great Britain: Iveta Jurkane-Hobein and Evija Klave.- Cultural and Media Identity among Latvian Migrants in Germany: Laura Suna.- Latvian Emigrants in the United States: Different Waves, Different Identities?: Andris Saulitis and Inta Mierina.- 'I Am One of Them': Exploring the Communication of Identity of Latvian Migrants on Social Networking Sites: Ianis Bucholtz and Laura Suna.- Part III Return Migration and Policies of the Sending Country: Return Migration Process in Policy and Practice: Evija Klave and Inese Supule.- The Nexus between Higher Education Funding and Return Migration Examined: Rita Kasa.